Digital Dispatch 11



Virtual Reality is the new hot thing, with reports of its use in social awareness campaigns, to natural history and now to decision-making in a corporate head office. Keep an eye out, as the technology improves we’re learning how to tell stories in Virtual Reality formats.


Tips on building LinkedIn Showcase pages that can be used for brands to, well, showcase their product lines.


Twitter features a live stream of Wimbledon.

Instagram adds tools to fight spam.

Facebook adds a ‘find wifi‘ option, I thought my phone already did that but it will be handy to have an in-app option.


The flawed is from May, Walkers is a brand of crisps/chips in the UK and they had a campaign that allowed you to upload your photo to have it appear in a video being held by the charming Gary Lineker. The next part is predictable. People uploaded photos of criminals and other undesirables which made it into the video.


I wrote about the Engagement Ladder, which ranks visitor involvement from seeing your post to commenting and right through to creating content that supports your brand. In a second post I went into way more detail on how to encourage and build a programme for User Generated Content.


Fan Tales

Fan TalesI got a big thank you for working on a presentation this week. I took a rough draft of a presentation about creative writing and created a final version, including adding slide transitions and loops as this will be used as a background screen at an event.

Top three tips for presentations, particularly when used as backgrounds;

  • go big on images; you will have a much stronger impact with a single dramatic image than with a small image, clipart, or lots of text. You want the image to be eye catching, so pick something unique or unusual. I usually source my images from Flickr, but there are dozens of options.
  • minimise text; it’s a billboard, you need to think of how much text people can pick up as they walk past. Make sure each word is working to deliver your message.
  • time the transitions carefully, as a rough guide I use six seconds for no/low text up to 10 seconds for longer texts. If you need more than 10 seconds to read the text reduce the amount of text. Have someone else look at the final presentation with timings to see whether you’ve given readers enough time to read any text.

To summarise;


Image; Botero | Michel Estaban |  CC BY-NC 2.0

Digital Dispatch 10

Digital Dispatch

The News

screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-13-55-26Twitter is still for sale, with both Salesforce and Disney confirming that the company is “not for them”. In both cases Twitter’s long term failure to address the trolling and abuse on the platform made it an unattractive option.

Samsung is trying to respond to the crisis of the self-combusting phone in smart ways. They’re supporting a phone recall with a $100 offer if you stick with a Samsung and in Australia you can exchange your phone at some airports (airlines are refusing to allow the phones on board).

Tip of the week

Tips on providing customer service on social media. Best advice = listen.

Platform developments

Facebook gets more ads – coming soon to groups, and improves their ad placement option.

Instagram adds a desktop version for Windows PCs – but not for all devices.

LinkedIn adds features to their mobile app – including saving articles to read for later.

Social Media; the fab and the flawed

I’m focusing on social care this week.

Nike wins on social care, their responsiveness beats their competitors and wins loyalty.

A great example of customer care, and yes of course there is a PR win from it. A coffee company created a positive surprise on social media and IRL (in real life).

Social care has the potential to help government agencies, even unpopular ones like the TSA. It’s worth listening to the podcast to hear the lessons learnt from day one of the pilot to now.

From my blog

I reviewed How to Fly a Horse, a book aimed at encouraging creative results with surprisingly little equine info.

And I got a little ranty about paywalls, specifically those protecting stories generated from twitter. Please; just stop it.

Re-share on Facebook

When you’re the manager of a Facebook page for your company or organisation you may want to also share their  posts on your personal Facebook page, it’s an easy way of increasing the audience who sees your content. This is very easy to do in three steps.

Step 1; click on “share” below any published post

I started from the page I manage, indicated by the heart avatar. But the same process works on any post from any starting point.


Step 2; Click on “Share on your own Timeline”


Step 3; Write your comment and click on “post”

You can see  that this is going to be shared to my timeline in the top bar of the window, in the lower bar you can see that this will be posted to a public audience.


The same steps will work for any published post, you can also pick up a post from another publisher and re-share it to a page you manage following the same three steps. Remember to check the top bar of the window at step 3 to make sure you’re publishing to the right place.

Hope that’s helpful – leave a comment if there’s something that’s not clear or to nominate a subject for the next tip!

Digital Dispatch 9

Digital Dispatch

The News

Facebook launched Workplace worldwide, with a three-month free trial, low pricing and free for non-profits Facebook is clearly aiming to clean up the enterprise social network market. You can sign up now to try it. They’ve publicly stated that they’re focusing on growth for now so expect monetisation schemes in the future.

screen-shot-2016-10-11-at-16-09-10Salesforce have partnered with Einstein for their AI initiatives. More accurately they’ve licensed the use of his image name and quotes for their marketing. It’s a genius move. According to Adweek “Salesforce is plugging AI into all of its products … to make them a little smarter the more you use them”, which is good news for users. I’ve used Salesforce products in the past and they need to get better, a lot better, to support the promised business results.

FastCompany showcased the Innovation by Design Awards. The winners are all inspirational and cover every industry showing just how important design is in our lives. From the Dutch company Fairphone, to concept microhousing from nArchitects, to the IKO prosthetic systems, scroll through the full list of entries for even more inspiration.

Tip of the week

Five tech tools for content marketers, these are more technical than I usually write about, going into SEO in detail, or marketing to influencers or researchers. I’m off to try out Blinkist, a tool that gives you summaries of books, could be a good way to find my next business read.

Platform developments

The data is in on Instagram Stories, they’re already touted as a big success. I’ve had a lot of fun creating them and I can see more users in my feed picking up on creating stories. However when I compare the stories views versus likes on my daily images I’m not sure that they’re engaging visitors as well. Let’s see in another two months what the usage is.

Twitter’s research shows the benefit of online customer care, reporting that companies with effective online care are able to charge a premium. This is great news; in the past we’ve tended to look at social care as a cost saver. Now it seems to be possible to think of it as a revenue driver.

Social Media; the fab and the flawed

Ten great examples of customer service that was so fab, the customers wrote about it online. All have a common theme, the staff have the authority to make the decisions quickly and deliver to the customers. Are your support teams able to earn this appreciation?

From my blog

If you’ve ever been in a project that lasted for ages without success but without failing quite badly enough to be stopped you’ve been in a zombie project. Have the courage to kill it next time.

I also reviewed the book of the month for September, a little late. It’s a collection of innovator’s stories with clues for how you can deliver more creativity – making the great point that we judge creativity by the results. How to Fly a Horse has won awards and it’s a good read for anyone who finds themselves “stuck”.

Digital Dispatch 8

Digital Dispatch

The News

Artificial Intelligence (AI), seen as the Next Big Thing in digital, or the world’s biggest existential threat, now some of the biggest players in the field have teamed up to form a Partnership on AI. It seems to be a think tank, let’s see what research comes out of it.

Tip of the week

How many types of content do you use? Here’s a list of 72 content types to get you started. I’ll be blogging about creating a content guide and how to combine some of these.

Platform developments

Moments are now available for everyone on Twitter, to create a moment click on the “moments” tab from your profile page on the desktop version. It’s pretty simple to see the steps you need to take, it’s like a mini-storify that will sit on your twitter profile, and be tweeted. There’s no time expiry on them, unlike Instagram stories. Here’s one I made earlier. Best use – news and events.

Linkedin is undergoing a re-design, including adding message features. The design is cleaner and in line with the mobile experience.

Facebook could be coming to an office near you. If you’re looking at collaboration or sharing platforms I’d be very wary of adopting this, I can see a number of issues including some specific to EU legislation.

Social Media; the fab and the flawed

Louise Delage Instagram SuccessWhen an overnight Instagram success turns out to be a public service announcement  people feel duped – but does it change behaviour?

The campaign has been revealed and we now know that Louise Delage was a fake account set up to show us why we might be missing the alcohol problems of those close to us. It was cleverly done, and the video expose has already (in three days) gained about a quarter of a million views, however most of the comments on the YouTube video seem to have missed the point.

From my blog

A little rant about the surprise of honesty in today’s world.

I’m busy looking for work this week – updating CV, LinkedIn, other profiles and generally getting word out there. Need an interim manager or a digital expert? Hire me!

Digital Dispatch 7

Digital Dispatch

The News

All the major platforms are struggling with the issue of online abuse, apparently the relative anonymity of the online environment has made us, the user community, forget our manners. Online abuse is pervasive across all platforms. Twitter, often portrayed as the root of all the online issues, seems to be stepping up and taking complaints seriously. The UK Labour party, going through a particularly combative period, is putting stringent rules in place . Instagram has a partial solution, allowing users to filter responses based on keywords. Businesses must sure they have community guidelines, monitor for issues, and act on complaints.

Tip of the week

Struggling to come up with content? Here are 47 blog ideas to try, I really like #3, you could make it a series based on the real “FAQ”.

Platform developments

screen-shot-2016-09-26-at-16-00-22SnapChat is now Snap Inc, and has pivoted their business into wearables with a release of sunglasses.

Flickr is closing down their marketplace, the option that aimed to secure payment for Flickr contributors. It simply hasn’t worked.

Twitter stretches the 140 character limit; hashtags and media links won’t count to the total any more. We’ve come a long way from using URL shorteners and searching for comprehensible abbreviations.

Social Media; the fab and the flawed

Qantas have either improved the out of office message or made it a whole lot worse depending on your point of view. You can now connect your out of office to your Instagram account and automatically add your holiday images. Could you use the same technique to share campaign images via email responses?

From my blog

What goes wrong when globalisation and digital collide? I think it can be explained by the economic theory of Externalities.

Digital Dispatch 6

Digital Dispatch

The News

Facebook made headlines by censoring an iconic photo, that one of napalm victim Kim Phuc running her face contorted in fear and pain. Facebook’s reason? In the photo Kim Phuc is not wearing any clothes. They’ve since reversed their decision and allowed the photo to be published on Facebook. But it raises the question of editorship in the news we see, as more people consume news online and on social media.

Tip of the week

Bots can be an important tool in supporting customer service; here are three tools that let you build your own bot. Good news, you can build a bot for free.

Platform developments

LinkedIn has introduced conversion tracking – great news for business users.

Facebook launched their own guide about going global.

DIGITAL; the fab and the flawed

AdWeek awards the best campaigns of the year – it’s a great list and includes activations online and in social media. It also adds budget indications, you can’t buy much in the way of a campaign for under a million.

Virtual Reality is the next level of digital experience allowing your be inside another world. It’s breaking out of it’s geek stereotype – here’s the world’s first VR ballet from the Dutch National Ballet

From my blog

It’s five years since the EU passed legislation on cookies, and the implementation varies with most sites not giving you the option to opt out of the most annoying advertising cookies. Here’s my take on the Cookie Nightmare.

Most large companies have sponsorship agreements with sports teams, cultural organisations or events, but how do you chose a sponsorship that makes sense? I was inspired by the Dutch national train company’s choice of sponsorship.


Digital Dispatch 5

Digital Dispatch

The News

Facebook removed the human element from the curation of trending topics. The new version removes any context from the headlines and relies on an algorithm. Without context I wonder if the click rates will decline – there may be more updates.

Apple remembered it had a twitter account, Apple does surprisingly little on social media relying on Apple fans to spread the news down to the odd genre of unboxing videos.

Tip of the week

We know that images are effective on social media; here are some awesome tips and tools to created useful social media images. Disclaimer; I’m a big fan of Canva.

Platform developments

Twitter has launched promoted stickers, the first campaign is with Pepsi, and the first set spotted in the wild are from Warner Bros and connected to the launch of the “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” movie. You can see them in the twitter app if you’re in UK, US, France Japan, Brazil or Spain. There’s no price published by twitter for a set of promoted stickers but one guess puts it at $500K.

More usefully, Twitter now has button you can install on your website to allow visitors to DM you directly, handy if you use twitter as a customer service tool. I did test it, and it works, however I use the hosted form of WordPress which means javascript doesn’t format well, this may be an issue on other platforms.

Linkedin updated some of their content tools, improving the search function for content, and enabling the hashtag functionality we take for granted on other platforms.

Instagram added zoom, for iPhone and now rolling out on android (it’s reached my phone), and brands are using it already.

Social Media; the fab and the flawed

As we wind down from the Olympics, a reminder, if you’re going to cash in from your country’s first ever gold medal winner you might want to put him at the front of the photo (Singapore Airlines have since deleted the photo, here’s hoping they sent Joseph Schooling that champagne). Definitely flawed.

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 13.57.48

From my blog

I’ve been playing with Instagram stories, having a lot of fun experimenting with them. I’ve written a “how to” guide, including some examples from businesses. Business use seems to be around events, either covering an event or using themed content.

I read Jeffrey Pfeffer’s book, Leadership BS, and reviewed it. It’s a sobering look at what he terms the Leadership industry.

The latest buzzword; game changer, it’s a term I like, but it seems to be over-used and used for things that could be more accurately termed “improvements”.


Digital Dispatch 4

Digital Dispatch

The News

The Olympics start on Friday, although some of the football games have already been played, Facebook have launched avatar layouts and other features, Google has timetables and results , and Twitter has launched hundreds of emoji.

Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 18.45.52

In not so good news Theranos, the medical device company that launched devices to run blood tests on tiny samples has been under fire from scientists, partners and regulators. It’s a brilliant concept but the technology needs far more testing and proof, and the CEO remains under fire this week when she presented at a US conference.

Bitcoin exchange Bitfinex was hacked, with 100,000 of participants’ bitcoin stolen, causing the exchange to suspend trading at least temporarily.

Tip of the week

Building a social media presence takes constant effort, here’s a guide to daily/weekly activities per platform. I’d suggest choosing key platforms and designing your own checklist.

Platform developments

Twitter is working on new ad options, some have already been tested by a few of the larger advertisers. The performance dashboard that goes with this will improve how you manage campaigns.

Instagram adds “stories”, a short film and editing option that disappears after 24 hours. It’s a feature that seems designed to beat snapchat. GE and other brands have found ways to use Instagram stories.

Social Media; the fab and the flawed

IKEA had some fun with their “Let’s Relax” video – poking fun at our need to overshare. It’s arty, funny and fab.

From my blog

It was Barack Obama’s birthday yesterday, he’s one of a handful of world leaders who “gets” digital and takes a stand on promoting it.

For an amusing take the startup world I have a book recommendation for you, it’s serious but with enough humour to make it a summer read – Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble by Dan Lyons.